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Posts: 915

Shifu

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Q: Give a holiday gift to my ayi?

I have an ayi and pay her 100 kuai for 3 hours of housekeeping every Saturday or Sunday morning. I reckon it's worth it since (1) I'm too lazy to do the cleaning myself and (2) 100 kuai isn't that much compared to say, a feed in a Western restaurant or what I'd pay a "maid" back in the States.

That said, I'm wondering if I should give her a Christmas present as a show of good will and appreciation or should I wait for Chinese New Year and give her something then?

Corollary question: What would be an appropriate gift to give ayi? What do you guys with ayis do at holiday time?

 

10 years 26 weeks ago in  Culture - Qingdao

 
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Comments (13)
Posts: 3494

Emperor

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She really strings out 3 hours of work every week?

Seems a long time.  What does she do?

I think buying her something would be a lovely gesture.  How about a bottle of dry white wine?  That's what I'd get her.

For Spring Festival, Christmas means nothing to Chinese.

 

Red_Fox:

Yeah, man. She does 3 hours and I'm there in my PJs (weekend morning, right?) helping out a bit, like tidying up the place and putting my shit away so that she can work more efficiently.

She cleans the flat top to bottom, including stuff like dusting the Venetian blinds, washing the windows inside and out, cleaning the fridge, folding the laundry (which I do the night before), and making dumplings! Sometimes, she'll step outside and do a little shopping at the Ma and Pa shop downstairs.

Thanks for the suggestion about the dry white wine, but I don't think she would know what to do with it. She's pretty unsophisticated and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't drink the stuff. Maybe baiju which she could then give to her husband or someone. Dunno.

So, Christmas gift not a good idea? Got it. CNY then. Thanks, Royce.

10 years 26 weeks ago
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royceH:

No wuckin furries Red.

Been jammin down at Jacks lately?

My mate said if he knew what night you were gunna be on he'd drop by and say g'day.

 

10 years 26 weeks ago
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Red_Fox:

Been flat out like a lizard drinkin', Royce. Rock up to Jack's maybe once a week for a pint or two and call it a night. Huge lifestyle change in the past year thanks to work. Or no thanks to work. Plus my guitar mate moved on so the jammin' has pretty much come to a standstill.

I gig a lot with the guys from Lennon Bar lately (paid gigs, corporate events usually) and about once a month, take my Strat down to Lennon and do a set with the band. Raw rock and roll, country and blues. No midi bullshit. Like it like that.

When are you gonna make it back to QD? Anytime soon?

10 years 26 weeks ago
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royceH:

Oh yeah, the Lennon's band are good.  That old sucker on the long guitar, he's very good.  And the girl can sing.  Forget their name...Jam something...Oriental Jam.  Forget.

Whenever I was in Lennon's I'd usually been out somewhere beforehand and I was pissed.  Had the odd incomprehensible conversation with Steve Gao who would be in the the same boat.

Good tucker there too.  Best gala in the world.

My mate Leo is the best lady  sailor in Qingdao and she's a real regular there.

Not sure if my boat will ever sail that way again.  Moved on.  A good city though.

Sounds like you've got a real job, Red.  That'll make for a different kind of China experience.

 

10 years 26 weeks ago
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Red_Fox:

Yeah, a good band. Oriental Jam, you're right. And best damn bass player I've ever gigged with. Philippine dude. He drives the band. And I know Leo. School teacher from down under and I believe the first {foreign) woman to be invited to join the Shandong sailing team. She's all right. And Steven Gao. Ha ha. Good guy. Last time I saw him he was not 3 but 6 sheets to the wind! He asked me when I got back to QD from Shanghai. Ha ha. I had never left QD!

I don't get out much these days except for the occasional feed with mates or  to gig. Got a couple jobs coming up with OJ band. Christmas events. So, yeah, music, sailing, gala, Christmas in Qingdao... Have a good one, mate, wherever you are!

10 years 26 weeks ago
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10 years 26 weeks ago
 
Posts: 290

Governor

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I'd recommend some fruit packed nicely

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10 years 26 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2488

Emperor

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Not for xmas, its just another day for her. I know we find it a little rude but if you really wanted to show your appreciation then some cash in a little red envelope. We might not like it, but they would appreciate it much more than say fruit or wine.

Red_Fox:

I forgot about the red envelope! The Chinese equivalent of a Christmas stocking! Ha ha! How much do ya think would be appropriate? (Don't want to under or overstuff.) A few hundred? Or more? Like a month's worth of Saturdays? Thanks, Mike. 

10 years 26 weeks ago
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mike695ca:

it depends on you, anything would be alot for her im sure so a months would be nice, except many people feel 400 would be bad luck, considering the whole death thing. In my opinion , part time, 200 is more than generous

10 years 26 weeks ago
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Red_Fox:

Dude, The lucky/unlucky numbers escaped me. I was just thinking one month - 4 weeks - of wages would be a nice bonus. Forgot 4 is a bad luck number here.

I'll go with 2. Not an excessive amount but appropriate.

I sometimes wonder if giving too much is embarrassing or a loss of face for the recipient. Any insights?

10 years 26 weeks ago
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mike695ca:

everyone is different but in this situation i am positive that any amount you give will be hugely appreciated. no chance she would take it the wrong way no matter how much. shell just take it

10 years 26 weeks ago
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royceH:

Yeah I forgot about the red envelope too.  I gave my ayi one with 200 in it a couple of years ago.  She seemed very happy.

 

10 years 26 weeks ago
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10 years 26 weeks ago
 
Posts: 9631

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I'd save the gift giving for Spring festival too. Well, perhaps give her some cookies or a bag of oranges, you know, because of this crazy xmas thing. 

Red_Fox:

I'm thinking the same.

Maybe a bag of Santa or snowman cookies when she comes to clean on the 21st. A cultural  "Merry Christmas" gesture. I can do that.

And the red envelope next month.

Cheers!

10 years 26 weeks ago
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Scandinavian:

The xmas thing is a "let me share some of my culture as an appreciation of your work for me" and the cny thing is a "I honor your traditions as an appreciation of your work for me"

10 years 26 weeks ago
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Posts: 446

Shifu

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To the OP -- I wonder what city you live in.  I can't imagine paying RMB 100 to an ayi for 3 hours work.  It is just so darn little.

 

I pay my AYI RMB 200 for about 2 hours work each visit.  She comes three times a week.  Once a week she clean my apartment.  Once a week she cleans the stairwells of the building and tends to little chores around the building -- all of the things that the official building ayi overlooks.Once a week she goes shopping for me at the open air market to get the best quality items for the lowest prices.

 

For Spring Festival, never for Christmas, I give her a "hong bao" with RMB 1,000 in it.

 

I also put a little money on her telephone each month as I need to be able to reach her.

 

She's been with me for almost five years.

 

You couldn't find an AYI around here who would work for such little money.

Scandinavian:

We paid 100 for 4-5 hours of cleaning. ... the woman did constantly bitch while she was cleaning, not sure what about, but I sense her anger was funneled into getting the floors clean. She worked pretty much constantly from she showed up until she left. I would have to force her to sit down to take a break once in a while. 

10 years 26 weeks ago
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